Driver facing hit and run trial over fatal crash
A BRITISH man accused of a fatal hit and run on the Far North Coast will argue he wasn't driving dangerously when the matter goes to trial.
Graham Belcher, 52, pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of failing to stop and assist following a three-vehicle fatal crash at a Tumbulgum intersection in September.
However, he entered pleas of not guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death and grievous bodily harm and failing to give way at an intersection which resulted in an incident where grievous bodily harm occurred.
Belcher, who was driving a blue 2019 Hyundai i30, allegedly collided with two motorcyclists on Tweed Valley Way near Tumbulgum.
A 39-year-old Gold Coast man, Scott Rose, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other motorcyclist was taken to Tweed Hospital with chest injuries.
The Gold Coast-based British man was arrested at Brisbane International Airport trying to board a one-way flight to the United Kingdom hours after the incident and was extradited from Queensland.
Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell told Lismore District Court on Monday he estimated the trial would take ten days.
"There is some analysis of the airbag data and traffic reconstruction evidence," Mr Campbell said.
"I'm being overly cautious, hopefully it'll be sufficiently less (than ten days).
Judge Jeffrey McLennan said he hoped the trial, which he saw to be "fairly straight forward", could be finalised in under ten days.
The court heard Belcher's legal team will argue he wasn't driving dangerously, but perhaps negligently.
"(It will be a) categorisation of how he drove … not that he was driving, rather the way he was conducting himself one way or another," Judge McLennan said.
The trial was set for July 26, 2021, with a readiness hearing to be held in the Lismore District court on May 14, 2021.
Belcher remains in custody until the trial and will next appear in Lismore District Court on November 30 for further mention.